Bala sharks not eating

Dgonc86

Member
As the topic says, just introduced 4 Bala sharks. Not eating, kind of just sitting in middle tank, how long does it take for them to getting active? Have temp set to 77, ph and nitrates good, water little cloudy because I have hard water where I live. But is clearing up.
 

FishGirl38

Member
Its hard to say, the better they acclimated, the faster they'll start feeling comfortable. Usually it takes at least 2 days, sometimes three. But longer than that and they didn't acclimate well and a water change might help.

How did you acclimate them?

Nitrates are just a waste chemical, even if they were high, the fish should still acclimate. The ammonia and the nitrite play a bigger role in them being comfortable right away. You want these two parameters less than .5ppm. Is the tank a new tank? Just do a water change? I don't understand where a high PH (hard water) would cause the water to be cloudy? So long as you're sure the cloudiness isn't caused by a bacterial bloom - which would also signal an ammonia spike. Than they should acclimate just fine. Bala's are hardy fish too.

It might also help if you turn your aquarium light off while they're getting adjusted. Gives them a chance to rest.
 
  • Thread Starter

Dgonc86

Member
FishGirl38 said:
Its hard to say, the better they acclimated, the faster they'll start feeling comfortable. Usually it takes at least 2 days, sometimes three. But longer than that and they didn't acclimate well and a water change might help.

How did you acclimate them?

Nitrates are just a waste chemical, even if they were high, the fish should still acclimate. The ammonia and the nitrite play a bigger role in them being comfortable right away. You want these two parameters less than .5ppm. Is the tank a new tank? Just do a water change? I don't understand where a high PH (hard water) would cause the water to be cloudy? So long as you're sure the cloudiness isn't caused by a bacterial bloom - which would also signal an ammonia spike. Than they should acclimate just fine. Bala's are hardy fish too.

It might also help if you turn your aquarium light off while they're getting adjusted. Gives them a chance to rest.
yes it is a newer tank and I think it’s just ending it’s bacterial bloom, i acclimated them by placing half the bag water in a bowl then slowly adding my tank water for about 15-20 mins, then netted the fish and put them in the tank, I think may be super stressed. I removed my golden algae eater this morning because it was being a dink and probably stressing the fish out
 

Dunk2

Member
Dgonc86 said:
As the topic says, just introduced 4 Bala sharks. Not eating, kind of just sitting in middle tank, how long does it take for them to getting active? Have temp set to 77, ph and nitrates good, water little cloudy because I have hard water where I live. But is clearing up.
Are the Bala Sharks in the 32 gallon tank that you set up on April 1st (according to your profile)?
 

Blueberrybetta

Member
Are they in atleast 100gal tank? Bala sharks are housed more for public aquariums, not small household, beginner tanks... i would say they are stressed in the small tank. Balas get up to 12in and they are a schooling fish too. A school of Bala sharks in home tank do not workout well. I would look into rehoming
 

FishGirl38

Member
Okay, well, bacterial blooms can be on-going...I get bacterial blooms in my tanks sometimes and they're years old. What is happening when your tank goes through a bacterial bloom (gets real milk cloudy for no reason [that is obvious to you] and then goes away in 2-3 days) is that there has been an ammonia spike, and the cloudiness you're seeing are the nitrosomonas/nitrobactr bacteria growing and readjusting to the amount of ammonia in the tank.

Its possible, when you added the 4 bala's, they put enough ammonia in the tank that kicked the bacteria into gear. This can also happen when we do water changes or change/clean out our filter, because we've removed some of that good bacteria and the colony needs to reproduce to keep up with the ammonia. This is why you shouldn't clean your tank and your filter at the same time - these bacteria live in your gravel bed and in your filter. How large is your aquarium? the smaller the tank, the more possibility for more frequent blooms - its a good thing, but it also means there has been an ammonia spike so when you notice this its always good to test the water and see if you HAVE to do anything to help (usually, the bacteria will keep it just low enough to control it).

and with acclimation, its really best to use the bag that came with the fish. Take it straight to your tank and stick it on the top (of the water - lol) for about 15 minutes. This way the fish get used to the temperature in your aquarium. After the 15 min mark, I open my bags and add a cup of water every 5 minutes until the bag is about half store water, half my tank water. At which point, the fish are acclimated to both my tanks temperature, and it's PH. (at least, they got a little taste before I dunked em straight in). Then I pour the water from the bag down the drain (or into a bucket if im working with jumpers), careful to keep the fish at the bottom. Once I've got as little water in the bag as I can, I release them into the tank.

I wouldn't use any containers that you've also used for other things. The reason is that any soaps, detergents, or oils that are still on those containers can get into your aquarium. They may not cause any issues, or they may harm everything in the tank without you understanding what's going on. its risky.

Additionally, netting the fish takes them from on gravitational and PH environment and then dunks them back into a different environment. To us its basic transport, they probably feel a cold and 'lung' crushing sensation for a moment on top of having the net scratch at their slime coat (their immune system). I'm being super critical there, you can still net your fish. But when acclimating, I really try not to use a net because that whole process can be stressful on them alone. Just some tips.

If you have added these 4 bala sharks to a 32 gallon that is 3 days old. Than your ammonia will most certainly spike, you shouldn't add anymore fish for the next, at least 2 weeks. and I recommend you test your water at least every 4 days if not more often. You didn't do anything wrong, but you're right at the cusp in terms of the amount of ammonia producers you should start with in that size of an aquarium. The above is correct as well, 32G is too small for full grown balas, you should re-home them when they're about 5 or 6 inches long to avoid stunting their growth. (or transfer them to a bigger aquarium. ;)).

It'll take your tank about 3 to 4 weeks to finish cycling if it is the 32G. (probably bowfront).
 
  • Thread Starter

Dgonc86

Member
FishGirl38 said:
Okay, well, bacterial blooms can be on-going...I get bacterial blooms in my tanks sometimes and they're years old. What is happening when your tank goes through a bacterial bloom (gets real milk cloudy for no reason [that is obvious to you] and then goes away in 2-3 days) is that there has been an ammonia spike, and the cloudiness you're seeing are the nitrosomonas/nitrobactr bacteria growing and readjusting to the amount of ammonia in the tank.

Its possible, when you added the 4 bala's, they put enough ammonia in the tank that kicked the bacteria into gear. This can also happen when we do water changes or change/clean out our filter, because we've removed some of that good bacteria and the colony needs to reproduce to keep up with the ammonia. This is why you shouldn't clean your tank and your filter at the same time - these bacteria live in your gravel bed and in your filter. How large is your aquarium? the smaller the tank, the more possibility for more frequent blooms - its a good thing, but it also means there has been an ammonia spike so when you notice this its always good to test the water and see if you HAVE to do anything to help (usually, the bacteria will keep it just low enough to control it).

and with acclimation, its really best to use the bag that came with the fish. Take it straight to your tank and stick it on the top (of the water - lol) for about 15 minutes. This way the fish get used to the temperature in your aquarium. After the 15 min mark, I open my bags and add a cup of water every 5 minutes until the bag is about half store water, half my tank water. At which point, the fish are acclimated to both my tanks temperature, and it's PH. (at least, they got a little taste before I dunked em straight in). Then I pour the water from the bag down the drain (or into a bucket if im working with jumpers), careful to keep the fish at the bottom. Once I've got as little water in the bag as I can, I release them into the tank.

I wouldn't use any containers that you've also used for other things. The reason is that any soaps, detergents, or oils that are still on those containers can get into your aquarium. They may not cause any issues, or they may harm everything in the tank without you understanding what's going on. its risky.

Additionally, netting the fish takes them from on gravitational and PH environment and then dunks them back into a different environment. To us its basic transport, they probably feel a cold and 'lung' crushing sensation for a moment on top of having the net scratch at their slime coat (their immune system). I'm being super critical there, you can still net your fish. But when acclimating, I really try not to use a net because that whole process can be stressful on them alone. Just some tips.

If you have added these 4 bala sharks to a 32 gallon that is 3 days old. Than your ammonia will most certainly spike, you shouldn't add anymore fish for the next, at least 2 weeks. and I recommend you test your water at least every 4 days if not more often. You didn't do anything wrong, but you're right at the cusp in terms of the amount of ammonia producers you should start with in that size of an aquarium. The above is correct as well, 32G is too small for full grown balas, you should re-home them when they're about 5 or 6 inches long to avoid stunting their growth. (or transfer them to a bigger aquarium. ;)).

It'll take your tank about 3 to 4 weeks to finish cycling if it is the 32G. (probably bowfront).
Thank you very much for all the great info, appreciate the help and positive input.
 

FishGirl38

Member
Oh and about the algae eater, *sigh*..."algae eater".

The only true algae eaters on the general market are otocinclus, amano shrimp, and siamensis (also called siamese algae eaters, siamese sharks or algae eating sharks). -there are others, but generally that's what you're going to find. Otocinclus would be perfect for a 32 Bow, siamensis would even work well too (they get a bit bigger at 5-6in). but.....siamensis are also often mistaken as flying fox's...and flying fox's are aggressive with one another (like redtail sharks) and do not eat algae. (the differentiation is in the sheen - siamensis are shiny like your balas, and the line down the middle of their body...siamensis's line goes through the tail, flying fox's line stops at the tail.

Most of the plecos you buy will eat algae when they're babies but once they're 'teenagers' (juveniles) they'll start looking for more fibrous and meatier options. I.e. fish food and driftwood. The additional downside to plecos is that most species (excluding bristlenose, clown and some more fancier species $$$) get too large for the average hobbyist aquarium.

Chinese algae eaters (which is what I believe you have) are actually worse....they're super cheap and easy to sell as algae eaters because they have the traditional sucker everyone looks for and they behave the same way as pleco's do. the difference is that when these guys are adults, they actually have a taste or other live fish, and will attach themselves to large fish, nibbling off their slime coat, if your bala's are large enough, it's possible the algae eater was harassing them. To tame em, you could try feeding him meatier foods, like shrimp or carnivore sinking pellets. Those might distract him.

and hey, anytime, I'm at home on quarantine and i'm still trying to work. :D. thought I will say, it seems you're a little ambitious to get this tank going and I would recommend you take the time to really look into the nitrogen cycle, google it, watch videos on it if you haven't already. Once you understand how ammonia and nitrite get put into and can be taken out of your aquarium, you will have significantly less frustrations and confusions later on down the line.

You know...I'll go a little farther here, don't buy an algae eater for your tank. If you want to you can, they'll spot clean. But you don't need it if you know what I'm about to tell you. So, algae grows because of two things, excess light and excess nutrients.

Your light should only be on for 8 hours a day and off for closer to 16 hours. -light is like an algae steriod, it helps it grow.

Excess nutrients allow algae to appear, nutrients creates the algae, the light grows it...plants (and algae...) need 3 macro nutrients to survive. Potassium, Nitrogen, and Phosphate.

Well....the end product of your nitrogen cycle is nitrate.....and if you read on the back of your fish food can, there will be an ingredient called potash as well as some type of phosphate ingredient.....potash is your potassium....do you see where I'm going with this?

Usually the two nutrients that go out of control are your phosphates and your nitrates, especially if you don't keep up on adequate water changes/maintenance and/or if you're over feeding the tank. SO....just make sure your keeping nitrates between 5-20 ppm and only feed as much as the fish will consume and you shouldn't ever have an algae issue.

If you're dealing with persistent algae (from nitrates or phosphates in tap water) than filter media's such as nitrate and phosphate remover pads can help keep these at bay. (they're replaceable just like you would your carbon media - monthly or every 3 weeks).
 
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Dgonc86

Member
Your a life saver can’t thank you enough

One more question if you don’t mind, I have an air stone, should it be left on 24/7?
 

FishGirl38

Member
Well...I work at an LFS. and unlike some I actually try to help instead of just...perpetuate things. Some of us LFS associates actually know our stuff. Its a blessing and a curse though.

Something else, I mention adequate water changes...Ive helped some customers with algae issues who tell me "I'm doing water changes every day and its still not helping" and I ask them how much they're diluting their concentrations by and they tell me 20% out of 75gallons.....Well.....20% of 75G is only about 15 gallon of water and when you're trying to dilute something that's already saturated.......20% just is not going to cut it.

if/when you need to do this....consider the concentration you're currently at, and where you need to be - the ratios are mathematically relevant so, if you're at .5ppm and you want to get to .25ppm, you do a 50% water change. You never want to remove more than 50% at a time, but sometimes even that isn't enough to dilute your concentrations to where you need.

in this case you'll want to do multiple and smaller water changes....just, remember your bacteria lives in your gravel and your filter, the ammonia stays in the water column. and you never want to remove more than 50% (for fear of changing the water quality and making it TOO DIFFERENT than what it was prior to where it stresses your fish out - because you can alter your PH and things by removing too much water at once) but you don't have to be SO afraid of moving a lot of water at once - a lot of customers i help use the 20% rule religiously but, personally i know I couldn't keep fish if I didn't do 50% occasional water changes so. just putting that out there.

and the airstone is totally personal preference. If you have one I would leave it on to avoid putting excess stress on the pump. Actually.....ope, you'd want to leave it on. IF you don't have a check valve, when you unplug your pump, it's possible the water can actually backflow syphon out of the aquarium, down the airline and to the pump, shorting it out.

Airstones in general are personal preference though - usually. If you have an overstocked tank with large fish and you NEED the extra oxygen in the water than an airstone is an option (as well as circulation pumps and additional filters) but, for your typical community aquarium, they add extra oxygenations and look really neat. If it pushes water or makes water move, than it is putting oxygen into the water.
 

Redshark1

Member
Do some research on monster fish keepers that's where I found the most useful info on Bala Shark.

There are people that actually keep fully grown ones on there and many more people that have tried and failed.

But be prepared to eat humble pie and accept their advice.

One guy on there has a 17" Bala!

Its tough learning the truth. At least the info is out there today. When I started the "experts" knew nothing and pretended they did. There's still a few of those around today.
 

H Farnsworth

Member
Size alone is why I find Baka sharks to be the least manageable of all the “sharks”. Full grown to an average size of a foot you’d need like a 4 x 4 tank. You got time though to decide what to do.
 

Redshark1

Member
People tend to lose them due to their skittish behaviour as they jump or crash at high speed. Some tanks are more prone to scaring them and some people report not being able to come into the room without them panicking. Its a very fast fish that escapes predation using its phenomenal speed.
 

ohfishstick

Member
You're stunting those poor sharks growth... no wonder they won't eat or are so depressed ... Bala sharks arent meant for home aquariums.. Please do some research as you are treating those sharks very inhumane. .
 

JB92668

it can take up to 2 weeks for bala sharks to settle in and it depends on your water conditions they are sensitive to changes in there water conditions
 
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